With a frantic fringe, who wouldn’t want to take some time out for themselves with an hour of yoga? Though you might find it less relaxing than you hoped if you’ve got an instructor anything like Jillian, the protagonist of Lia Romeo’s Yoga With Jillian playing at Pleasance Courtyard.
In this ‘live class’, some lucky audience members are able to take part, and today’s participants certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, even if not everyone had dressed for the occasion!
As for Jillian, she’s the kind of positive force that you’d expect, brimming with patronising back handed compliments for both her in-person and online students. But whether she can sustain that for the whole class in another matter. As our seven audience members work their way through Downward Dog, Tree Pose and everything in between, Jillian takes the opportunity to unload.
We learn that Jillian is a former law associate that gave up the big bucks and associated lifestyle to pursue a new life as a yoga teacher, but then the pandemic hit, and suddenly she could no longer compete with younger yoga teachers in the online world.
Yoga With Jillian explores the plight that faced freelancers during lockdown, particularly in the US where financial support was even worse than in the UK. In a superbly comic way, this play also looks at alternative therapies and the way vaccines divided the world.
Michelle Biancosino gives a marvellous performance as Jillian , not only leading an actual yoga class, but telling Jillian’s tragic story with a healthy dose of comedy.
Jillian’s experience of the pandemic will resonate with many an audience member (whether they partake in yoga or not). It neatly sums up the collective experience of the last three years, but does so in such a unique and funny fashion. It might not be the class you expected but Yoga With Jillian is a hilarious cleanse of the chakras.